The first edition of Complete Idiot's Guide to Bridge by H. Anthony Medley was the fastest selling beginning bridge book, going through more than 10 printings. This updated Second Edition includes some modern advanced bidding systems and conventions, like Two over One, a system used by many modern tournament players, Roman Key Card Blackwood, New Minor Forcing, Reverse Drury, Forcing No Trump, and others. Also included is a detailed Guide to Bids and Responses, along with the most detailed, 12-page Glossary ever published, as well as examples to make learning the game even easier. Click book to order.  

Eden (9/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 84 minutes including credits.

Billy and Breda Farrell (Aidan Kelly and Eileen Walsh, respectively) have been married for ten years with two small children. Their marriage has reached a pivotal point. Billy seems to have lost interest in Breda sexually and she is feeling neglected. Unfortunately, they can’t bring themselves to talk about it.

This is the tender story brought to the screen by first time director Declan Recks. The screenplay is written by Eugene O’Brien, and is based on his play, which was a two character play with the two characters sitting on a bench, talking to the audience. The play was a hit in Ireland and played around the world.

The part of Breda was played on the stage by Eileen Walsh’s older sister, Catherine Walsh. Catherine is nine years older than Eileen. Recks and O’Brien wanted to “go younger,” making it a story of two people reaching 30-years-old, who are still young enough but whose marriage has fallen into trouble due to lack of communication.

Walsh gives a stunningly effective performance as the poor wife, still in love with her husband, who is grappling with the apparent loss of her ability to sexually attract her husband and who desperately feels the need to be held and loved. She expresses her feelings with compellingly emotive blue eyes. The scene where she deals with her loneliness in the bathtub, ever so quietly so as not to awaken her children, is heartbreaking.

Billy is a lost soul. He doesn’t like getting older and thinks he has an attraction to a young girl, which causes his relationship with his wife to come to a head. Kelly gives a remarkable performance, especially considering that he can’t bring himself to discuss it with his wife.

This is an intuitive study by director Recks of a young marriage with particular emphasis on the way a young husband’s sexual wanderlust affects his loving wife. His insight into a woman’s feelings in such a desperate situation is all the more remarkable in that he is unmarried, as is the writer O’Brien.

Walsh gives a remarkable performance. Because this is such a low budget (2 million Euros), Irish film, nobody at the Academy will give it a second thought, if they even see it. But just as they ignored “Hard Candy” and its remarkable star, Ellen Page, despite my suggestion that she should get an Oscar® nomination for that role, they will ignore my urging that Walsh be considered for an Oscar® nomination for her truly exceptional performance here.

The only real criticism I have of this film is that the Irish accent is so heavy that subtitles would have been helpful. When I asked Recks about this, he said, “Yeah, it was intentional.  Eugene’s writing is very specific and it’s to where we’re from. It’s specific to that area, particularly from where Eugene’s from. They have a stronger accent and I just wanted to make it as specific as possible.  I know some people find it hard at times, but if anything it makes them pay attention a bit more.  You know you really have to pay attention.  You really have to focus so it draws people in if anything.”

I did pay attention, but, even so, there was a lot of the dialogue I had a hard time understanding. 

Opens November 21.

October 1, 2008